A woman discovers a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach, and is determined to track down its author.

1.5

I'm a girl, I love a good romance on the big screen. Unfortunately I don't think Message in a Bottle quite makes the grade. It's about Theresa (Robyn Wright Penn), a researcher on a Chicago newspaper who goes wandering on the beach while her son visits his father and new stepmom. And there on the beach is a bottle with a message in it. She reads it and is intrigued and affected by its sensitivity. It's been written by a man to the woman he loves, calling her his true north. After the letter gets ruthlessly published by her colleague, a columnist on her paper played by Robbie Coltrane, Theresa gets clues about its origin and she sets off to the coastlands of North Carolina to track the author down... he turns out to be, you guessed it, Kevin Costner playing boat-builder Garrett...

Based on Nicholas Sparks best-selling novella 'Message in a Bottle' is a limp story with a stupidly infuriating ending that is really only enlivened by the performance of Robyn Wright Penn. She is lovely. Costner however is lethargic and inaccessible as Garrett. Paul Newman plays his father as a knowing scene-stealer. Illeana Douglas and Robbie Coltrane seem to be in the film just to fill any gaps around the two stars. But if you like the idea of romantic-looking sails into the sunset with a chronically depressed man, then this is the film for you...

David's comments: Another vastly overlong film. A soppy romance in which Chicago journalist puzzlingly falls in love with dead boring Carolina boat builder Kevin Costner. Perhaps she was hoping he'd grow up to be his father, a delightful codger played by Paul Newman with a glint in his eye. This is one of those annoying films where, if the heroine had just told the guy when she first meets him the back story everything would have been fine - but there would have been no movie. A relief for us all.